against him like one who falls into a bog and the more he struggles the more he sinks into it.
The aspect looking to those depicted in the comparison: know that when they get caught up in the darkness of disbelief and dissembling they could be saved from it in four successive ways:
Firstly: They could raise their heads and listen to the truth and heed the Qur’an’s guidance, but when the rush of desire prevents the sound of the Qur’an entering their ears, and their frenzy takes them by the ears and holds them back from this path, the Qur’an reproaches them with the epithet “deaf!” This indicates that this door is blocked up and suggests that their ears have been cut off.
Secondly: They should lower their heads and consult their consciences, and ask about the truth and the path. But when obstinacy seizes their tongues and hatred tugs them back into the hollow of their mouths, the Qur’an deals a blow at them with the word: “dumb!” This indicates that that door too is shut in their faces and alludes to their failing to endorse the truth.
Thirdly: They should make the effort to extract lessons from the evidences in the world around them, but heedlessness places its hand over their eyes and feigned blindness draws down their eyelids, so the Qur’an calls them “blind!”, a sign that they have strayed from this path too. The omission of the particle ‘ka’ indicates that their eyes – the lights of the head – have as though been plucked out.
Fourthly: They should recognize the ignominy of their situation and feel disgusted and regret it and repent and return, but because, due to the corruption of their natures caused by their insisting on their way and the dominance of lust and Satan, their souls make these abominations seem appealing to them, so the Qur’an says: “and they cannot turn back.” This is a sign that the final paths have been closed up for them and indicates that although they have got into this situation voluntarily they do not have the will to extricate themselves and are floundering like a man caught in quicksands.